by Bankole Thompson
CHRONICLE SENIOR EDITOR
CHARLOTTE, NC–President Barack Obama’s campaign today said they there is a
sense of urgency for African Americans to come out and vote during a
roundtable briefing with black journalists at the Charlotte Convention
Center ahead of Obama’s nomination speech tonight.
Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told the roundtable of journalists that
the assault on voting rights should motivate blacks to get to the polls in
“The fact that laws are been made difficult should motivate people,” Jarrett
said. “Whatever the new laws are it should motivate people even more than
ever before to exercise their right to vote. “
The wave of new voter restrictions and requirements in key battleground
states according to critics has been a ploy to decrease the voter turnout
for Obama among African Americans.
Some of the new voter laws are requiring photo ID which has drawn the
watchful eyes of the U.S. Department of Justice with Attorney General Eric
Holder suing states putting more voting requirements ahead of the November
She said Holder has “been vigorous in fulfilling his duties for the Voting
Patrick Gaspard, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee
said the campaign is very much aware that it would score big among African
Americans, Latinos, Asians and other minority groups because of the issues
that are stake for those communities.
When pressed to give an overview of what a second term under Obama would
mean for minorities, Gaspard only said the political interest of those
communities will speak for itself.
Taking a swipe at Gov. Mitt Romney, Gaspard said the Republican nominee has
been trying to “appeal to the worst elements in that party.”
On President Obama’s support same sex marriage which has upset some African
American ministers, Gaspard said “I respect those pastors but I don’t think
they are representative of their congregations’ views.”
Broderick Johnson, a senior advisor to the Obama campaign said majority of
black pastors are urging their congregation members to go out and vote.
However Johnson said the campaign still takes serious the concerns of those
ministers opposed to gay marriage “But we also know that’s a minority
perspective. There is great enthusiasm out there and we have great voter
engagement. So we are going to make sure people get out and vote.”
Asked about the impact of the economy in the Black community Jarrett said “A
lot has been done that has greatly benefited the Black community,” citing
investments in small businesses, stimulus and the saving of the auto
She said a Romney/Ryan plan Romney would be devastating to the middle class,
decimate the department of education.
President Obama is really looking forward to having the chance to debate Gov
Romney, Jarrett said.
(Bankole Thompson is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers
Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book
series on the Obama presidency. His book “Obama and Black Loyalty” published
in 2010 follows his recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with a
foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books
in 2012 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and “Obama and Business Loyalty.” He
is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series
of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior
Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit [NPR Affiliate] and a member
of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New
York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.)